Lycopene is an antioxidant known to decrease the risk of age-related chronic diseases, such as cancer.
Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is associated with the risk of osteoporosis, and can be reduced by certain dietary antioxidants.
Lycopene reduces oxidative stress and the levels of bone turnover markers in postmenopausal women, and may be beneficial in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Lycopene is available as a supplement. Dosage is 5-10 mg daily. You can also just eat a lot of tomatoes. Frying the tomatoes in oil improves the bioavailability of the lycopene.
In a cross-sectional study, 33 postmenopausal women aged 50-60 years provided seven-day dietary records and blood samples. Serum samples were used to measure serum lycopene, lipid peroxidation, protein thiols, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), and cross-linked N-telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx). The serum lycopene per kilogram body weight of the participants was grouped into quartiles and associated with the above serum parameters using one-way ANOVA and the Newman-Keuls post-test.
The results showed that groups with higher lycopene intake, as determined from the dietary records, had higher serum lycopene (p<0.02). A higher serum lycopene was found to be associated with a low NTx (p<0.005). Similarly, groups with higher serum lycopene had lower protein oxidation (p<0.05).
Reference: Rao LG1, Mackinnon ES, Josse RG, Murray TM, Strauss A, Rao AV. Lycopene consumption decreases oxidative stress and bone resorption markers in postmenopausal women. Osteoporos Int. 2007 Jan;18(1):109-15. Epub 2006 Aug 29.